Arc raises $161m to launch full-service finance platform for SaaS
By Edlyn Cardoza
Arc, the full-service finance platform for SaaS, emerged from stealth today with $161 million in total funding from equity and credit investors. In partnership with Stripe, Arc is building a FinTech solution where software founders can borrow, save, and spend on one comprehensive digital platform. Its introductory product, Arc Advance, allows SaaS founders to seamlessly convert future revenue into upfront capital without dilution at the click of a button.
According to Gartner, today, cloud services are among the world’s fastest-growing markets — estimated to reach $400 billion in revenue in 2022 and grow 20%+ year-over-year. However, innovation in SaaS companies has outpaced the funding solutions supporting them. Historically, high-growth software companies in their earliest stages turn to venture capital and occasionally venture debt to fund their growth. These traditional sources of capital leave startups with expensive and offline solutions that limit their ownership, control, operating flexibility, and ultimately growth. Arc provides SaaS founders with a digitally native tool to fund growth without dilution, tapping into future recurring revenue to pay for operating expenses today.
As the full-service finance platform purpose-built for SaaS startups, Arc is building a community of premium software companies where they can borrow, save, and spend all on a single technology platform. Arc is transforming Wall Street for Silicon Valley by marrying the capital available to mature companies with the consumerized technology experience that technology startups demand. The company is quickly becoming the home for SaaS founders’ finance needs.
“We’re on a mission to help startups grow,” says Don Muir, Arc co-founder & CEO. “Arc provides SaaS startups with the funding alternative they deserve, empowering founders to scale without selling an ownership stake in their business or risking insolvency with legacy credit products. Arc was purpose-built for software founders. Our fintech platform eliminates the friction inherent in traditional capital raising while broadening access to non-dilutive capital, helping founders preserve ownership in the business they’ve worked so hard to build. And this is only the beginning — in the coming months, we’ll be launching a full suite of financial tools to empower SaaS founders to scale their businesses efficiently and retain control. We want founders to know that when it comes to accessing and managing capital, Arc has your back.”
Unlike conventional banks, Arc leverages technology to programmatically underwrite credit risk, allowing Arc to deploy capital to founders in minutes rather than months. Backend API integrations from companies like Plaid enable Arc to rapidly and securely underwrite credit risk through real-time access to a startup’s financial data. Machine learning allows Arc to drastically improve interpretation of the financial information it receives compared to manual analysis alone. Leveraging Stripe’s banking-as-a-service technology, customers can store and spend their funding from Arc on a single platform designed for software companies. By building on top of these technology solutions, Arc has turned financing on its head, allowing founders to borrow against the future revenue of their company and grow efficiently. With Arc, startups can access the capital they need when they need it — without debt or dilution. Technology-driven financing also removes the biases inherent in conservative financial services — levelling the playing field for founders, especially those outside of Silicon Valley.
NFX founder James Currier joined Arc’s Board of Directors and led the fund’s investment in Arc. Currier commented, “This is the top team going after this space. They met at Stanford GSB and prior to Arc, built consumerized SaaS software in Silicon Valley as well as raised billions of dollars of debt on Wall Street.”
The company has also partnered with Y Combinator, which shares Arc’s mission to help startups grow. Arc was an early member of YC’s Winter 2022 batch, which commenced earlier this week. Jared Friedman, General Partner at Y Combinator, notes, “The Arc team’s top-notch execution and the strong market need for this product have caused the YC community to rally behind their success.”
Since launching last summer, over 100 startups have signed up for the Arc platform. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the company increased its total funding to customers by over 110x — a period where funding was limited to select launch partners, and a waitlist proliferated. To date, the largest segment of customers has been VC-backed B2B SaaS companies seeking to accelerate their growth spend while also prolonging their runway before raising additional equity.
In addition to NFX and Y Combinator, the equity round also included participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Torch Capital, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, Soma Capital, Alumni Ventures, Pioneer Fund, and Atalaya Capital Management. Atalaya also provided the credit portion of the investment.
Many high-profile angel investors also contributed to the round, including over 100 founders from Y Combinator-backed companies such as Vouch, Observe.AI, Eden Workplace, Teleport, RevenueCat, QuickNode, Dover, Middesk, Instabug, and Rainforest QA, as well as multiple founders of decacorn FinTechs. The ex-Stripe angel syndicate also invested in the round.
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